Hank Johnson Gets It Wrong…Again.

During the debate yesterday on the “Disclose Act” Hank Johnson said corporations such as BP and Goldman Sachs would be free to spend unlimited funds electing Republicans unless the bill passed. Now, BP has given heavily to Republicans (less so in recent years), but the top recipient of their evil money was President Obama. Goldman Sachs however, gives heavily to Democrats.

Will Johnson acknowledge the role these corporate wrongdoers have played in electing Democrats? Will Johnson explain why the Disclose Act gives Unions a pass – Unions which support Democrats overwhelmingly? Guam will capsize before Johnson admits these things.

Hat Tip: Hot Air

UPDATE: Johnson sure loves to receive evil corporate money.


  1. jppaa says:

    I like how BP gave a ton of money to Obama and yet Hank Johnson is bitching about BP giving money to Republicans. Classic liberal robinhood syndrome. What are the people in that district thinking voting for him and Cynthia McKinney?

  2. B Balz says:

    Corporations having the ability to give politically, on an unlimited, undisclosed basis will send this Country further down a path away from individual liberty.

    In my opinion, Rep. Johnson should not have used Party politics on an issue that is wrong for the Republic. I would like to see Statesmanship and not Party politics.

    • macho says:

      The whole point of the 1st Amendment is to protect political free speech, and yet, it always seems to be the speech we want to limit. Then it’s just a matter of demagoguing favorite groups against unfavored groups: George Soros and Unions = Good, Corporations = Bad.

      There is a reason the Founding Fathers made it the first.

      Of course, Johnson is gaining a reputation as the number one idiot in the House (which is really hard to do). BP is one of Obama’s largest contributors and Goldman Sachs is completely in the tank for the Democrats.

      • MSBassSinger says:

        Just as a note (related to the 1st amendment issue, not Hank Johnson), here is the 1st amendment:

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        Most people are unaware that the 1st freedom addressed in the 1st amendment is the exercise of religion (which includes religious speech) and to be free from a state-established Church. The other freedoms in the 1st amendment follow.

        Just something to keep in mind when you hear someone complaining about those pesky Christians trying to act like they have an equal right to exercise their religion in the political fray.

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I must be overly biased.

    I heard the traditional, Republicans favor big business. Chamblish should have been mentioned in relationship to the exploding Sugar Company.

    BP is fodder for the next 30 years over the Gulf Disaster.

    Goldman Sachs and most of Wall Street a worth while target given the contributions to economic collapse, lack of accountability, and a willingness to take a government bailout. Government bailouts include tax credits and tax cuts.

    Johnson had a little math problem. Ya’ll should have made fun of that, too. Local, State, and Federal adds up to three and Hank kept saying ‘both.’ Not exactly a smooth public speaker. He sounded nervous as well.

    Given the partisan divide in the country, his remarks aren’t worthy of ridicule. Hardly delivered as a moral lecture but could also be taken as chiding the GOP for opposing the underlying issue. Our humble democratic form of government isn’t for sale to the highest bidder, foreign or domestic.

    • MSBassSinger says:

      Traditional conservative Republicans favor an even playing field for all businesses, big and small. Likewise, the role of government in dealing with business is to protect the life, liberty, and property of the individual – not a role conducive to big government.

      Traditional Rockefeller Republicans favor big business and the requisite big government and restrictions on liberty necessary to favor big business.

  4. Mad Dog says:


    Will Guam capsize before you admit the carveout wasn’t unique to labor unions but all organizations with membership larger than 500,000?

    Partisan a hole

    • From the Daily Caller article.

      Corporations, unions, non-profits and 527 groups will, for the first time, be required to report donors who give more than $600 if they engage in “express” advocacy — urging voters to support one candidate or another by name.

      Conveniently, as Republican staff on the House Administration Committee point out, average union dues in 2004 were $377 – below the $600 threshold. Since unions get the vast majority of their funds from member dues, “the new threshold for reporting is likely to have little effect on unions … but a huge effect on associations and advocacy groups,” a GOP summary of the bill says.

      Government contractors with contracts of more than $7 million are not permitted to engage in express advocacy. Unions that receive their dues from the taxpayer-funded salaries of public sector employees face no such restriction. Neither do recipients of grants.

      • Mad Dog says:

        From the Christian Science Monitor:

        But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle balked at a special deal that House sponsors worked out with the National Rifle Association – the lead opponent of the bill – that exempted the NRA, as well as other nonprofit giants such as AARP and the Sierra Club, from new disclosure requirements.

        “They are auctioning off pieces of the First Amendment in this bill … if you’re on the lucky side,” said Rep. Dan Lungren (R) of California, in a floor speech opposing the bill. “The bigger you are, the stronger you are, the less disclosure you have.”

        Even Democrats supporting the legislation said they regretted the concessions to the NRA and others with memberships over 500,000.

        “I wish there had been no carve-outs, but I understand the difficulty in getting the bill passed,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D) of California. “It’s an effort to overcome a very considerable obstacle to passage,” he added, noting the NRA’s decision to drop its opposition after the exception was written into the draft bill.

        Different source. Different spin? Or still just a partisan a hole?

        • Icarus says:

          Quit calling Buzz a partisan a hole. We’ve banned people for less. You’ve been around a while, so this one (and the last one) get a pass.

          Keep it civil, or take it back to your blog.

          • Mad Dog says:


            I didn’t know you were Buzz’s big brother. And I didn’t know that signing my self as a partisan a hole would be a problem for You.

            Partisan a hole

        • c_murrayiii says:

          You seem to gloss over the exemptions for the Sierra Club and AARP, hardly “conservative” organizations. So who’s being the partisan now?

        • The NRA and the other groups that cut a deal to exempt themselves from the provisions of this bill demonstrates yet another huge problem with current Washington politics – cronyism. Why doesn’t Hank Johnson have a problem with that?

          Also, the amount of money unions spend on behalf of Democrats is enormous and dwarfs whatever the NRA might do. For Democrats to write a bill curtailing free speech of entities they don’t like should concern all of us.

          • Mad Dog says:

            I think you get big points on this part of your post.

            We need a bill immediately. That bill can’t have exemptions. Period.

            That’s your contribution.

            But, any such bill may be over turned by litigation. Still, the bill is needed for this election cycle. So even an imperfect bill, i.e. one that might be later overturned and not one with loop holes, should be rushed out the door with reasonable care and in time for the General Election.

            Johnson is complaining that partisanship is stopping progress on the bill. Now we’re just arguing who is the most partisan.

            Get them off the dime. No exemptions.

            Go back to the original legislation and see if it can be altered to meet the Supreme Court standards.


  5. Doug Grammer says:

    Will someone please Yank Hank soon? Number times he said “Republicans” in 60 seconds: 4. Number of times he said “uh” in 60 seconds: 4. Overriding reason to pass the disclose act: Republicans will win elections. Doesn’t matter if his facts are wrong, there are loopholes to favor Dems, and he can’t count to three.

  6. Icarus says:

    We just sent Mad Dog out to get his shots. That may mean the comments don’t post in the right place from here on out. Sorry folks.

    Debate your points strongly, but keep it civil.

  7. Progressive Dem says:

    Obama accepted zero BP Pac money. Employees from BP contributed $71,000. Obama raised over $740 million for 2008 election. BP employees contributed less than 0.01 percent of the total.

    • gopgal says:

      Progressive Dem, Don’t know where you get your info. This is from Politico on 5/5/10:

      “BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

      On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

      During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.”

      • Progressive Dem says:

        Obama did not take any PAC money from anyone in the 2008 election cycle.

        The source for the Politico story is the Center for Responsive Politics. Here is the link showing PAC contributions

        You will see Obama received a $1,000 PAC contribution from BP in 2004, and zero in every election cycle since.

        The Politico story is poorly written, and when the Center for Reponsive Politics was asked about the discrepency regarding the BP Pac money – A spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics confirmed Monday that “the $71,051 that Obama received during the 2008 election cycle was entirely from BP employees.” The CRP spokesman also stated that “Obama did not accept contributions from political action committees, so none of this money is from BP’s PAC. And corporations themselves are prohibited from donating directly to candidates from their corporate treasuries.”

        • Mad Dog says:

          Progressive Dem,

          You just exposed the classic partisanship of biased sources. Anyone can print a lie than retract it so quietly that no one knows the lie was retracted. Happens a lot in the modern version of ‘win at any cost politics.’

          Happens in the Georgia House with the ‘reconsideration’ of bills. Some bills get passed and immediately reconsidered. That allows members for vote for something before voting against it. Then even well meaning people like those in the Tea Party post the voting records of incumbents. How accurate are those voting records? How does the Tea Party address ‘reconsideration’ in the voting record?

          So how do we defeat a partisan system that lies with a weak tool like … the truth?


  8. Old DeKalb Hand says:

    No secret that Republicans oppose limits on corporate campaign finance and corporate political advocacy because they stand to benefit more than Dems from more money in politics.

    BP and GS gave to Dems and Obama when it was clear the Dems would be in power, but over the long run clearly the GOP is more pro big business than the Democrats. That is utterly obvious. If corporations could spend more money on elections, the GOP would benefit.

    Hank said Republicans want to protect and increase corporate political influence. He hit the nail on the head.

  9. Lady Thinker says:

    Hank Johnson was a Dekalb County part-time magistrate judge and practiced law in Dekalb.

  10. c_murrayiii says:

    Corporations are not robots, they are entities which consist or employees, executives, and shareholders. All individuals afforded free speech protections. Corporations are organizations of these people, you might call them “associations” of individuals. I think the first amendment also protects freedom of association…and it wasn’t just freedom of association for its own sake, it was freedom to associate and advocate as one group. So denying an association of individuals, i.e. a corporation, the right to speak and seek redress of grievances, is a violation of their first amendment rights. And if a woman is entitled to privacy for medical decisions, individuals should be afforded an equal right to privacy for political associations, as that clearly falls into the idea that the Constitution was written for, to protect us from government intrusion.

    • Progressive Dem says:

      I guess we should give corporations the right to vote, too.

      By the above logic BP should secretly contribute as much campaign cash as they deem necessary to Senators, Congressmen, Governors, legislators and judges so long as it furthers their corporate interests. It is just freedom of speech.

      The total spending for all 20 or so presidential candidates in 2008 was $1.3 billion. That was 10 times more than it was in 1976. Last year BP made $14 billion in profits. BP alone could dominate candidates and elected officials through contributions. With that kind of mony available, there wouldn’t be much need for political parties.

      Since the early 1900’s it has been ilegal for corporations to make contributions to federal candidates. We don’t need to start now. The corporate voice is heard quite well thanks to corporate lobbysts and PACs.

      And BTW, it isn’t just women who are entitled to “privacy for medical decisions”. Your Viagra script is confidential too.

    • B Balz says:

      @ c_murrayiii

      While your premise that a corporation is comprised of an ‘association’ of individuals may be plausible, I vehemently disagree that a corporation ought to be afforded any Constitutional rights.

      If one believes individuals have souls; even the most corrupt, vile, or violent among us, then we can agree ‘Associations’ or corporations do not. If one has ever worked in a corporation, one clearly observes the need for uniformity, control, efficacy, that ‘increased shareholder value’ demands. Often that need runs contrary to individual values.

      The ‘associations’ that manage corporations ‘act’ based on the whatever will increase shareholder value, regardless of the moral construct. Corporations ought not be afforded the rights of an individual.

      Both the Dems and the GOP are beholden to their corporate sponsors, evidenced by the last 30-40 of Big Business/Big Government coziness. Lack of separation between these two entities is the reason behind many of the disastrous consequences we see everyday. Once the individual human, moral and ethical governor is removed, consequences are predictably poor.

      It is disingenuous to claim which Party benefits more from the new contributions model, but I am pretty sure the results won’t help you or I very much, if at all. Traditionally Big Business is the beneficiary of the GOP, Big Labor the Dems. Times have changed, those distinctions are blurred.

      There is a Club, and most of us are not in it.

    • B Balz says:

      PP is not the problem, or even a contribution to the problem. I see this venue as an avenue of communication to shine light on issues.

        • B Balz says:

          Apologies to the great Ella and Duke:

          It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing
          It don’t mean a thing all you got to do is sing

          It makes no difference
          If it’s sweet or hot

            • B Balz says:

              I could call your screen persona many things, but stupid would definitely not be one of them, Mad Dog.

              I’m agreeing with you, opinions do vary, it don’t mean a thing…in other words, nothing personal meant.

              • Mad Dog says:

                B Balz,

                Actually, you can now add a couple new labels to my online resume’ and to yours.

                I really was perplexed. Was it that you agreed with something I said? Nope. Don’t think so.

                Was it that your response was actually deep and thoughtful. Yeah. I think so. So much better than just saying, I agree that opinions vary.

                Well done, the Dag.

                Whipped pup

      • Hill Rat says:

        A man runs into the vet’s office carrying his dog, screaming for help. The vet rushes him back to an examination room and has him put his dog down on the examination table. The vet examines the still, limp body and after a few moments tells the man that his dog, regrettably, is dead.

        The man is clearly agitated and not willing to accept this, and demands a second opinion. The vet goes into the back room and comes out with a cat, and puts the cat down next to the dog’s body. The cat sniffs the body, walks from head to tail poking and sniffing the dog’s body and finally looks at the vet and meows. The vet looks at the man and says, “I’m sorry, but the cat thinks that your dog is dead, too.”

        The man is still unwilling to accept that his dog is dead. The vet brings in a Black Labrador Retriever. The Lab sniffs the body, walks from head to tail, and finally looks at the vet and barks. The vet looks at the man and says, “I’m sorry, but the lab thinks your dog is dead, too.”

        The man, finally resigned to the diagnosis, thanks the vet and asks how much he owes. The vet answers, “$650.”

        “$650 to tell me my dog is dead?” exclaimed the man!

        “Well,” the vet replies, “I would only have charged you $50 for my initial diagnosis. The additional $600 was for the cat scan and the lab work.”

    • Mad Dog says:

      Georgia used to require drug tests for candidates and elected officials.

      Guess what? Some activist judge ruled it a violation of Constitutional Rights.

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